NYT Bestselling author Nick Tate brings together the latest cutting edge health information from the experts at HEALTH RADAR to help individuals and families stay healthy, live longer, and live better - naturally.
Through a monthly newsletter and website, Health Radar is chock-full of valuable information about a variety of topics: tips on how to lose weight and keep it off; articles covering significant, common issues such as cancer, memory loss, depression and allergies; and education on less commonly known medical issues. Unlike more commercial “health” magazines, the well-researched content in Health Radar comes from medical studies, experts and professionals focused on giving you practical advice on how to improve your health. Health Radar helps you better understand your body and how its inner processes work. When you understand how your body works and why it works like it does, you will be better prepared and equipped to keep your body and your mind healthy.
This book truly bulges from cover to cover with to-the-point tips, tricks, and strategies that can: Eliminate your health worries; Keep you out of the hospital and your doctor's office; Protect you from unnecessary treatments, dangerous pills and procedures, and sky-high medical costs; And add many years of robust health and vitality to your life and the
lives of your loved ones. It's time to move beyond the limits of old-fashioned medicine. And move beyond those nagging health problems that make you feel old, sick, fat, weak, and stressed out. No matter what health issues you may be coping with, you'll discover every issue of Health Radar to be an outstanding source of useful action strategies that help you enjoy a fun-filled, active life.
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About the Author
Nick J. Tate: Nick J. Tate,[Boca Raton, FL] award-winning journalist, editor, and New York times bestselling author, has written extensively about health, business, technology, finance, and consumer affairs issues. His work has appeared in Newsmax Magazine, Miami Herald, South Florida Sun Sentinel, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Boston Herald, Health Radar Newsletter, and other print and online publications. Harvard-educated, the author’s background also includes teaching health/science journalism at Emory University in Atlanta. Tate recently authored the New York Times bestseller ObamaCare Survival Guide, which continues to be the foremost resource on the subject.
Read an Excerpt
Better than Chemo, Radiation, Surgery, and Other Conventional Cancer Treatments
At ninety-one, former president Jimmy Carter became the most well-known beneficiary of a new type of immunotherapy that all but cured him of an advanced form of cancer that doctors had initially predicted would kill him in a matter of months. The approach, which boosts the body's natural defenses to fight disease, is more effective than conventional radiation, surgery, and chemo. Many specialists believe it represents the greatest medical advance in decades.
Immunotherapy: Harnessing the Body's Natural Defenses to Fight Disease
For nearly a century, the idea of enlisting the natural power of the body's immune system to combat cancer and other illnesses has been the dream of conventional doctors and alternative medicine practitioners alike. Now that dream is becoming a reality with the advent of immune-boosting drugs like Keytruda, the medication used to eradicate former president Jimmy Carter's cancer in 2016.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) green-1 ighted Keytruda (also known as pembrolizumab) in late 2015 for patients with a genetically linked form of lung cancer. But other studies have found it to also be effective against melanoma, lymphoma, and leukemia, as well as breast, bladder, and colorectal cancers. As a result, Keytruda has become the therapeutic poster child for a new generation of treatments designed to work with the body's immune defenses to combat cancer.
And while Carter might be the most famous beneficiary of this new line of treatments, he is just one of many cancer survivors who are benefitting. Oncologists say that Keytruda — and similar drugs — offers the tantalizing prospect of extending the lives of tens of thousands of patients with late-stage cancer, with research showing that it is safer and more effective than chemo.
The FDA's approval of Keytruda was a historic milestone in medicine. It marked the first time an immunotherapy drug has been designated a first-line treatment for patients with advanced cancer and a high concentration of a specific protein called PD-L1 in their tumors.
But experts say that this is just the beginning of a new era in medicine that will fundamentally change how cancer — and other health conditions — will be treated in the years ahead.
Targeting More Cancer Types
According to the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), more Americans are benefiting from immunotherapy than ever before. The organization's 2016 Cancer Progress Report noted that a growing number of different types of cancer are being treated with immunotherapy.
The AACR reported that immunotherapy drugs accounted for four of the thirteen new cancer treatments approved since 2015 — including Keytruda. The drug is one in a new class of immunotherapy drugs called "checkpoint inhibitors" that have been approved for melanoma, lung cancer, bladder cancer, head and neck cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, and kidney cancer.
"The promise of immunotherapy for cancer therapy has never been greater, and the opportunity to make significant progress in this critical area is real," says AACR president Dr. Nancy Davidson.
Such treatments not only help cancer patients live longer but also improve their quality of life. Today, a record 15.5 million cancer survivors are now living in the United States, an increase of 1 million people since 2014.
Still, cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States, pointing to the need for more research into immunotherapy and other treatments, says Dr. Margaret Foti, chief executive officer of the AACR. "Research has made tremendous advances against cancer," Foti notes. "However, we need to accelerate the pace of progress because it is unacceptable that one American will die of cancer every minute of every day this year."
Davidson adds, "And in fact, if the necessary funding is provided, we will accelerate the pace of progress and, in turn, markedly reduce morbidity [illness] and mortality from cancer."
Immunotherapy: At a Glance
Drug companies, federal health agencies, universities, and US researchers are investing billions of dollars into immunotherapy treatments. Hundreds of clinical trials are under way to attempt to identify the most promising lines of therapy to replace or complement conventional chemo, radiation, and surgery.
Here's a closer look at some of the key questions and answers about the promise and challenges in the field based on the latest information from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
What Is Immunotherapy?
Immunotherapy is any type of treatment that enlists the immune system to fight diseases. Some forms of immunotherapy — such as allergy shots — have been around for decades. But the latest and most exciting developments in the field have been in the area of cancer treatment.
Unlike chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery (treatments that kill tumors by poisoning, burning, or cutting them out), immunotherapy works by an entirely different method — by strengthening the cells of the immune system to help them attack the cancer. In doing so, it has fewer negative side effects and does not damage healthy tissues.
Are Drugs the Only Type of Immunotherapy?
Actually, no. But drugs are the most widely used form of cancer immunotherapy — specifically, the new class of medications called "checkpoint inhibitors." Four such drugs have been approved by the FDA, including Keytruda (pembrolizumab), the medication used to treat former president Jimmy Carter, manufactured by Merck; Yervoy (ipilimumab) and Opdivo (nivolumab), made by Bristol-Myers Squibb; and Tecentriq (atezolizumab), by Genentech.
Such drugs are delivered intravenously and put the brakes on a process that cancer cells use to evade the immune system, allowing killer T-cells to attack the tumor. They target "checkpoint proteins" (such as PD-1 and CTLA-4) that cancer cells sometimes enlist to avoid being attacked by the immune system.
But drugs aren't the only form of immunotherapy. Others include the following:
VACCINES. Unlike typical vaccines — used to prevent the flu, pneumonia, and childhood diseases — cancer vaccines are used to treat or eradicate the disease after it has developed by arming the immune system to attack tumors. But like traditional vaccines, cancer shots are often made from actual tumor cells that are "killed" and then used to create a vaccine that can target other tumors when reinjected.
The FDA has approved a vaccine called Provenge to treat prostate cancer. A second, called Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG), is made from a weakened form of the bacteria that causes tuberculosis and is used to treat bladder cancer by causing an immune response against cancer cells. BCG is also being studied in other types of cancer.
Other vaccines enlist "dendritic cells"— special cells that help the immune system recognize cancer cells — and reengineered viruses, bacteria, or yeast cells that have been altered so they no longer cause disease but still provoke a strong natural defense against tumors.
In addition, Duke University researchers are developing a promising experimental vaccine that uses a weakened polio virus to provoke a strong immune system response to target brain cancer.
ADOPTIVE CELL TRANSFER. This form of immunotherapy is highly specialized and involves reengineering a cancer patient's own T-cells — a type of white blood cell that is part of the immune system — to more aggressively fight his or her cancer. Researchers take T-cells from a cancer patient and isolate those that are most active against tumors or modify their genes to make them better able to find and destroy cancer cells. They then grow large batches of these hyperaggressive T-cells in the lab and reintroduce them intravenously to the patient.
MONOCLONAL ANTIBODIES. These drugs are designed to bind to specific targets in the body — such as tumor cells — and can cause an immune response that destroys cancer. Some tag cancer cells so it is easier for the immune system to find and destroy them. Others are engineered to attach to cancer cells and immune system T-cells alike, so they can be used individually in a one-two combination to direct T-cells to tumors. One drug that harnesses this approach is called Blincyto, and the FDA has approved it to treat leukemia.
CYTOKINES. These proteins, which are made by the body's cells, play a key role in normal immune functions and the ability to respond to cancer. The two main types of cytokines used to treat cancer are called interferons and interleukins.
OTHERS. Some other forms of immunotherapy are being studied to try to boost specific parts of the immune system, including T-cells and so-called tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes.
How Successful Is Immunotherapy?
Despite the strides made over the past decade to research and develop new forms of immunotherapy, there has been a widely varying degree of success. Studies show that up to four in ten patients are helped by checkpoint inhibitors, but greater survival rates have been seen in those with melanoma and those who have used two drugs in combination.
Cell therapy has led to remissions in 25 to 90 percent of patients with lymphoma or leukemia, with some remissions lasting for years.
Does Insurance Cover Immunotherapy?
Because the therapy is so new and experimental, in some cases, insurers have not covered the full costs for treatment, which is expensive. Keytruda, for instance, carries an annual price tag of about $150,000. And even in cases where an oncologist prescribes it and insurance covers it, copayments are often very high.
One option is for patients to enroll in clinical trials, in which case, the drugs and other forms of therapy are provided free of charge.
For information on ongoing clinical trials and immunotherapy, visit the following websites:
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) clinical trials website: http:// clinicaltrials.gov
The NCI immunotherapy website: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/ treatment/types/immunotherapy
You can also visit the websites of the makers of these immunotherapy drugs: Keytruda (pembrolizumab) was developed by Merck (Merck, com), Tecentriq (atezolizumab) was developed by Genentech (Gene , com), and both Yervoy (ipilimumab) and Opdivo (nivolumab) are made by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS.com).
Other Recent Advances in Immunotherapy
CANCER GENE MAP. Scientists at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP) recently identified 122 new genetic regions that affect the immune response to cancer. The findings, published in Cancer Immunology Research, could inform the development of future immunotherapies.
"By analyzing a large public genomic database, we found 122 potential immune response drivers — genetic regions in which mutations correlate with the presence or absence of immune cells infiltrating the tumors," said lead author Eduard Porta-Pardo, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at SBP. "While several of these correspond to proteins with known roles in immune response, many others offer new directions for cancer immunology research, which could point to new targets for immunotherapy."
UNIVERSAL VACCINE. German scientists have discovered how to rewire immune cells to fight any type of disease — raising the prospect of developing a universal cancer vaccine. The new potential therapy involves injecting tiny particles of genetic code into the body that link up with immune system cells and teach them to recognize specific cancers.
Although scientists have shown previously that is it is possible to engineer immune cells outside the body so they can spot specific types of cancer, this is the first time it has happened inside cells, and the genetic code could be programmed for any form of the disease. Custom-made vaccines would be designed — based on the genetic profile of a particular patient's cancer cells — to fight the disease and keep it from recurring.
Tests in mice showed that the vaccine triggered a strong immune response, while trials in three skin cancer patients demonstrated that the treatment could be tolerated. The study was carried out by researchers from Johannes Gutenberg University, Biopharmaceutical New Technologies, Heidelberg University Hospital, and the Cluster for Individualized Immune Intervention.
NATURAL KILLER CELLS. An experimental therapy that revs up the immune system's cancer-fighting ability might help treat some leukemia patients facing a grim prognosis. The treatment involves infusions of "natural killer" (NK) cells taken from a healthy donor and chemically "trained" to go after tumor cells.
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis found that of nine patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) who received the therapy, four went into complete remission for as long as six months.
IMMUNOTHERAPY DRUGS. Oregon Health and Science researchers who treated ten men with advanced prostate cancer using Keytruda have reported promising results in some of those patients — suggesting that it might be an effective alternative to conventional treatments in at least some cases.
Three of the first ten participants enrolled in the ongoing clinical trial experienced rapid reductions in prostate-specific antigen (PSA), an early measure of treatment effect. Imaging scans also showed that tumors shrank in two of these three men, including metastatic liver tumors in one patient. Two of the three participants who responded to the treatment gained relief from cancer pain and were able to stop taking opiate pain medication. Although the drug did not work for all the men, those who experienced positive results clearly benefited, researchers said.
OTHER NEW MEDICATIONS. The new immunotherapy drug called nivolumab might be more effective than conventional chemotherapy for people with advanced head and neck cancers. An international phase III trial found that more than twice as many cancer patients taking nivolumab were alive after one year compared with patients receiving chemotherapy.
Patients receiving the immunotherapy drug also had fewer side effects than those undergoing conventional chemo, according to the findings presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology 2016 Congress in Copenhagen and published in the New England Journal of Medicine by scientists from the Institute for Cancer Research in London.
Can the Polio Virus Cure Cancer?
An experimental immunotherapy program at Duke University is using a surprising new weapon in the war on cancer-infusions of the polio virus that have successfully been used to treat patients with inoperable brain tumors.
While the doctors and researchers spearheading the effort are reluctant to use the words "cancer cure" to describe the work, the early success of the innovative effort is at least the next best thing. If ongoing clinical trials of the technique continue to prove promising, it could become a new way to treat cancer-alongside surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
"The idea of targeting cancer with viruses has been around for at least a hundred years," notes Dr. Matthias Gromeier, one of the lead investigators heading up the new anticancer research at the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke, whose work gained wide attention from a spot on 60 Minutes. "However, valid strategies of using 'oncolytic' (cancer-fighting) viruses emerged only recently. This is mostly due to technological advances in genetic engineering of viruses."
The Duke project involves injectinga genetically engineered poliovirus — known as PVS-RIPO — into deadly brain tumors. Early testing involving primates and human patients has found that PVS-RIPO homes in on cancer cells and destroys them without harming healthy tissues.
Gromeier explains that the Duke team essentially disarmed the virus through genetic manipulation, so it cannot cause polio, while maintaining its ability to infect, target, and kill certain cells — specifically, brain tumor cells.
"To work against cancers in patients, oncolytic viruses must target cancer cells for infection, and they must kill them. At the same time, they must be safe," says Gromeier, a professor of neurosurgery, molecular genetics, and microbiology at Duke, who has been working on the polio virus project for twenty-five years.
"Accomplishing this is very difficult scientifically, and only very few viruses are suitable as cancer-fighting agents in the clinic. We achieved this feat by genetic engineering to remove poliovirus's inherent disease-causing ability."
Gromeier explains that the resulting PVS-RIPO virus "naturally infects [and] kills cancer cells, but not normal cells, because its ability to grow (and kill) depends on biochemical abnormalities only present in cancer cells."
He adds that tests in patients have proven that PVS-RIPO has "no ability to cause poliomyelitis, and no ability to change back to wild-type poliovirus that can cause poliomyelitis."
Excerpted from "Encyclopedia of Natural Healing"
Copyright © 2017 Humanix Books.
Excerpted by permission of Humanix Books.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part I: New Frontiers of Medicine,
Chapter 1. Immunotherapy: Better than Chemo, Radiation, Surgery, and Other Conventional Cancer Treatments, 3,
Chapter 2. Genetics: Using the Body's Own DNA to Diagnose, Treat, and Even Prevent Chronic Diseases, 14,
Chapter 3. Stem Cells: Breakthrough Therapies That Are Transforming Medicine, 34,
Chapter 4. Mental Health: Proven Ways to Stay Mentally Sharp as You Age, 45,
Chapter 5. Food as Medicine: Latest Clinical Nutrition Research Confirms You Can Eat Your Way to Good Health, 59,
Chapter 6. The Exercise Cure: Working Out Beats Drugs for a Host of Ailments, Including Arthritis, Heart Disease, and Diabetes, 79,
Chapter 7. Natural Remedies: What Works and What Doesn't When It Comes to Alternative Healing Practices, 88,
Chapter 8. Hidden Toxins: Common Contaminants That Threaten Your Health, 119,
Chapter 9. Life Stages Guidelines: Tests and Procedures That Can Save Your Life, 132,
Chapter 10. Off-the-Grid Health Care: Smart Strategies That Can Boost Your Life Expectancy, 145,
Part II: Disease Directory Aging, 165,
Allergies and Asthma, 178,
Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia, 188,
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 249,
Cold and Flu, 257,
Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, PTSD, and Other Mental Illnesses, 269,
Digestive Disorders, 303,
Eye Disorders, 317,
Heart Disease, 334,
Hepatitis C, 376,
Immune System Disorders, 379,
Kidney Stones, 387,
Menopause and Andropause, 390,
Parasitic Infections, 416,
Prostate Problems, 421,
Sexual Problems, 427,
Sleep Disorders, 431,
Thyroid Disorders, 440,
About the Author, 483,